27th Annual SEAANZ Conference Research Book Launch

Book Launch - Meeting the Globalisation Challenge: SEAANZ Research Book Series

The first edition of the SEAANZ Research Book Series will be officially launched at the conference. Entitled “Meeting the Globalisation Challenge: Smart and innovative SMEs in a globally competitive environment”, the book draws together a cross-section of authors from the “four pillars” of the SEAANZ community. This includes academic researchers, educators, public policy specialists and practitioners. SEAANZ has launched this book series in order to provide a more accessible source of information for readers than is possible with traditional academic journals. It also allows us to bring together in a single volume the range of material that is often difficult to publish through other channels. Edited by Bernice Kotey, Tim Mazzarol, Delwyn Clark, Dennis Foley and Tui McKeown, the book includes content on innovation in SMEs, regulation and ‘red tape’ reduction and communication between SMEs and regulators, and support initiatives for small businesses in changing times. This is a unique book and one that helps readers better understand the issues and how to provide some solutions to assisting the small business community survive in challenging times. Read more>>>

Selected chapter presentations:

Management practices in medium-sized enterprises: Insights from benchmarking Australian manufacturing firms

Roy Green (University of Technology Sydney)

The objective of this chapter is to provide descriptive evidence on the differences in management practices of medium-sized2 Australian manufacturing firms, and how these compare with: (1) larger manufacturing firms, and (2) medium-sized firms from developed nations which have been previously identified as having management practices that foster high performance manufacturing. Consequently, we will be able to identify which factors medium-sized enterprises will need to focus on to improve their management performance, and hence contribute to innovation and productivity growth in the Australian context. Using data from the Australian Management Practices dataset (Green et al., 2009)and the World Management Survey (WMS), the chapter highlights: (i) how Australian manufacturing medium-sized firms manage their firms including the three dimensions of operations, performance and people management; (ii) how Australian medium-sized performance compares and contrasts with those of larger Australian manufacturing firms; and (iii) the similarities and differences between Australian medium-sized performance as compared with that of ‘best practice’ economies such as the US and Sweden. Download presentation>>>

Why are small businesses so poorly managed in the digital age?

Susan Saunders (Business in Control)

In larger organisations management and decision making are divided among different functional areas or separate cost or profit centres. The stakeholders do not necessarily work in the company. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has ultimate responsibility for the strategic direction of the enterprise. Other employees are responsible for the strategic planning and ultimately implementing those plans. Planning and control software has already been developed for larger organisations. For SMEs, the responsibility for strategic planning rests solely with the owner/manager who is usually working in the business at a grass roots level and often is not skilled in management accounting or the art of preparing forecasts – let alone measuring and analysing performance. This paper reports the journey of designing software, case study experience and further experience with gradual introduction of the concept commercially. Of relevance is the author’s extensive domain knowledge in the SB sector and the influence that had on the software design criteria. Download presentation>>>

Wealth and small business ownership in Australian households: What rewards for business proprietors

Scott Holmes (University of Western Sydney), Mark Sargent (University of Newcastle) and Michael Schaper (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)

How much do we know about the personal financial returns derived from owning and operating a small-scale business venture? Business ownership, particularly relating to small business, is often portrayed as risky, and as being more uncertain and volatile than other career options, such as taking a job as a paid employee with the public service or with a business owned by others. The paper begins by reviewing some of the existing literature on business ownership and wealth. This is followed by a comparison of the available Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data concerning household assets and income levels for both types of households. It then compares this to wealth data compiled as part of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) surveys. The comparative analysis attempts to answer the question: are business operators wealthier than paid employees? Download presentation>>>

Exit planning in small Australian firms

Robyn Marshall and Bernice Kotey (University of New England)

Few business owners plan their exit because they prefer to focus on the day-today running of the business and they see exit as an event in the distant future. Exiting is also a difficult subject for many owners because parting from the business can be emotional. Nonetheless, exiting is an issue that all small business owners will have to address sooner or later. This chapter presents the pathways by which owners exit their businesses. It analyses case studies on the exit pathways adopted by small businesses, highlighting problems, successes and outcomes. Analysis of exit as a stage in the management process is new to the small business process and has rarely been considered for Australian small businesses.Download presentation>>>